If there is a classic trek in India, it has to be the Rupin Pass. This trek is like an orchestra, building up momentum with surprises in scenery every hour or so. With every step, the trek throws up a new vista to see, new scenery to unfold. Quite suddenly too!
The surprises begin right from your first day of trekking. When, around 20 minutes into the trail, you see the Rupin River make an appearance, fanning out into a wide bed below you. And it doesn’t stop here.
From here, the trail takes you through hanging villages, and then quite suddenly, it plunges into a deep pine forest! That’s not all. The trail then meanders through glacial meadows, snow bridges, glacial valleys, snowfields, and hundreds of waterfalls!
Surprises on the trek
Waterfalls views: You will encounter many waterfalls and stream though the trek. The best of the sights you will face at Rupin Valley which is of thousands of waterfalls flowing down through such a height that it appears as they are falling straight from the sky.
Jhaka Village, A Hanging Village: it is a unique positioned village at the utmost edge of the mountain making it appear to hanging through the cliff.
Snow Bridges: The feeling of walking on the snow bridges you come across is another enhancement to the variety of the treks. You will come across numerous snow bridges on the trek.
Lush Forests: The trek at various places also passes through the forests of fir, Rhododendron & Oak. The entrance and exit to the forests are again so sudden that you will feel that it is a movie setup around you.
Kinnaur Temple: It is a two storey temple of Kinnauri culture at Sewa which is very different from its surrounding. Views of Kinner Kailash: You will get mesmerized by the views of lofty Kailash Peak while you reach towards the end of Rupin Pass trek. Get engaged with TTH Team to make the best of this adventurous journey, we will ensure that no essential task to be left out while taking care of your safety on the suddenly variably trek.
Day 1: Shimla to Jakha/ Jiskun
Altitude: 7,700 feet
Time taken: 10-11 hours drive from Shimla. Pick-up from Hotel
Instead of traveling from Dehradun to Dhaula, as per the traditional itinerary of Rupin Pass trek, drive down from Shimla to Jiskun. Start early from Shimla. This route is a lot better and scenic than the route to Dhaula.
Jiskun (7,700 ft) is the base for the Rupin Pass trek. Jiskun, high above the confluence of Nargani and Rupin, is a village in two parts — lower Jiskun is now called Bawta. Jiskun is a good place to replenish your supplies if you are running short.
Day 2: Jiskun to Udaknal
Altitude: 7,700 ft (2,347 m) to 10,318 ft (3,145 m)
Time taken: 6 hours, 8.7 km
It is a 3½ km walk to Jakha, the highest and the last village on the Rupin pass trek. The trail out of Jiskun descends rapidly through a forest of deodars and walnut until it reaches an enchanting dark fold in the mountain. The trail mostly climbs with one gentle walk in between. Jakha is a village completely enveloped in the ways of the Satsang. No meat is taken here. Avoid asking for any live animals or eating meat out of canned tins. The campsite is just above the village and doubles up as the children’s playground. An alternative campsite is the school courtyard itself.
Day 3: Udaknal to Dhanderas thatch (lower water fall camp)
Altitude: 10,318 ft (3,145 m) to 11,700 ft (3,566 m)
Time taken: 4 hours, 4.6 km
Below, the Rupin thunders on. On the opposite bank, huge snow patches cover the gullies that once were part of glaciers feeding the river. A clump of forest starts just outside the camp area, and before you know it, you are in deep foliage.
Day 4: Acclimatization day at Dhanderas Thatch
Longest trail of Rupin Pass begins with a steep ascent, with a bumper gain in altitude. An hour of climbing, then take left trail and discover totally different and amazing sights from the Rati Pheri campsite.
The only views from Rati Pheri are of the expanse of thick snow stretched all over, making your paths through them is your next exhausting task for the day to reach Rupin Pass Gully. We shall take utmost care here as the snow is very thick and the trails are not clearly defined. At Rupin Pass we will serve you with some refreshment to regain your energy for the next adventurous climb to Rupin Pass.
The trail to Rupin pass is short but very uncertain and has risks of loose stones falling from above. Our team will suggest you walk in line carefully putting your every step forward.
Rupin Pass cut from a hollow shaped region marks the beginning of Dhauladhar Range. A bit of descendant and you are ready to experience the next adventure to slide down the snow to reach Rukti Gad.
Way to Ronti Gad is a gentle walk followed by a sharp descendant. Camping at the coldest yet charming campsite amidst the mountains covered with snow
Day 5: Dhanderas thatch to Upper Waterfall camp
Altitude: 11,700 ft (3,566 m) to 13,385 ft (4080 m)
Time taken: 3 hours , 2.4 kms
This is perhaps the most important day of your trek. The acclimatization climb to the top of the waterfall will help you immensely for a super successful climb to the Rupin pass.
From Dhanderas Thatch the altitude gain for the Rupin pass crossing is almost 2,500 ft. It is considerable and it is almost certain that many will suffer from altitude sickness. It makes better sense to climb up about 1,500 ft to the top of the waterfall, allow your body to feel the effects of the altitude. Acclimatized somewhat, your body is better prepared for the grueling climb to the Rupin pass the next day. Unlike most days, start your day at leisure. Let strength come back to your limbs. After breakfast, prepare for the climb to the top of the waterfall.
Day 6: Upper Waterfall camp to Rupin Pass via Rati Pheri, further on to Ronti Gad
Altitude: 13,385 ft (4080 m) to 15,279 ft (4,657 m) to 13,139 ft (4,005 m)
Time taken: 10-11 hours , 7.4 kms
Steep climb to the pass followed by a sharp descent. This is the longest day of your trek and the most gruelling – and perhaps the most exciting too. It has enough adventure in store to haunt your memories for a long time.
The pass is a saddle on a ridge line cutting its way through and across the Dhauladar range. For the first time you catch views of the Sangla side of the mountain – and you are again spun into the world of eternal surprises of the trek. The green open mountainscape is so much in stark contrast to the snow and alpine country behind you that it takes a while for the scenery to sink in.
Day 7: Ronti Gad to Sangla Via Sangla Kanda
Altitude: 13,139 ft (4,005 m) to 8,776 ft (2,675 m) via 11,427 ft (3,483 m)
Time taken: 6 hours , 11.9 kms.
The descent to Sangla is hell on your knees and toes but makes up for everything with its ever changing scenery. For the first time you get to view the Kinner Kailash range and the blue pines of the Baspa valley. Start the day leisurely but not too late. The descent will make you lose height rapidly and it can get rather warm near Sangla (that’s all comparative with the chilling height of the Rupin Pass)